Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite
Porky Baycann: His Summer of ’43 in Palomino is a work of historical fiction centred around the Second World War, and was penned by author Tank Gunner. The companion novel to the central wartime work Palomino, which focuses on the lives of more than 370,000 German POWs who were shipped to Palomino during the war, this separate but related tale showcases the adventures of a younger Porky and many of Palomino’s characters in the summer of 1943. We learn of Porky’s yearning to see his father, who is missing in action, his growing friendship with TJ and the beginnings of a darkness in Palomino that will only get worse as time goes on.
It was a delight to return to the culturally rich and historically fascinating Palomino, which author Tank Gunner works so very hard to bring to life before our eyes. Despite the fictionalization, the issues at hand during 1943 are very real indeed, and the atmosphere of the war and what is yet to come hangs in the well-chosen words and clever descriptions of the adult characters around Porky in his formative years. Porky’s journey is sweet and relatable in parts, whilst in others the surreal nature of adjusting to a world at war is painfully prevalent. It was wonderful to see the connections between this and Palomino itself, and I feel readers could engage with the novels in any order and still get a rich story. Overall, I’d certainly recommend Porky Baycann: His Summer of ’43 in Palomino to all historical fiction fans.